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Archives for December 2011

Out with everyone else first, in with Healthy Shelley!

photo credit: jeremy vandel

Someone once said “The road to wellness isn’t straight, clear or predictable. It’s a path you forge yourself.”

I spent the better part of 2011 caring for everyone else except myself…. Again… However, I did get rid of some extra heavy baggage that I have been carrying around with me for years… which is a good thing!

I am looking forward to moving back on my wellness path which will be kicked into high gear with help from my trusty “old” (actually he isn’t old in age lol) trainer who I will be working very hard with to get those muscles moving and fat burning once again.. And I am going to be giving my healthy eating a new twist and will be working with “the fresh diet” starting on the 2nd and I will of course keep everyone updated.

So here’s to “out with putting everyone ahead of me”… again… and looking forward to a healthy and fit 2012!

How about you?

10 Helpful Uses of Eucalyptus

eucyalyptus collage

photo credit: etsy, flickr, etsy

  1. Wounds: Eucalyptus essential oil is a good antiseptic owing to its germicidal properties. On its exposure to air, ozone is formed which is a well-known antiseptic. Hence eucalyptus oil is used for healing wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions and sores. It is also effective on insect bites and stings.
  2. Soaps: Eucalyptus oil has applications in soaps, detergents and household cleaners as well.
  3. Room Freshener: The antiseptic and deodorant nature of eucalyptus oil makes it a perfect room freshener for hospitals and sickbed atmosphere. It also kills bacteria and germs in the air and hence keeps the room environment clean.
  4. Dental Care: Eucalyptus essential oil is very effective against cavities, dental plaques, gingivitis and other dental infections due to its germicidal properties. However do not swallow!
  5. This oil is well known to give relief from sinus infections, blocked nose, common cold, bronchitis, flu and other respiratory diseases. To treat these health conditions, apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the handkerchief and inhale it at regular time intervals. Another best way is to put a few eucalyptus oil drops in the bath water. Massaging a small drop onto the temples and the spot where your forehead meet the nose can relieve any sinus congestion.
  6. Protects Pets: Add a little amount of eucalyptus oil to the pet dog’s bath water to protect them from ticks and other parasites.
  7. Eucalyptus oil is very effective for sore throat problems. Add a couple of eucalyptus oil drops to a glass of warm water and gargle with it. This remedy reduces soreness and gives better relief.
  8.  Eucalyptus oil can also be used as an air purifier.  Put it in a diffuser and germs and airborne bacteria will be killed by it.
  9. Muscle Pain Relief: Eucalyptus oils are a popular treatment for sore muscles because you can simply massage them into the afflicted area and get instant results. Everything from minor problems such as stiff or sore muscles to serious problems like sprained ligaments and nerve pain can be relieved through a Eucalyptus oil massage.
  10. Household helper: To remove stubborn stickers, rub cloth with a few drops of eucalyptus oil on it and peel away.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about herbs and aromatherapy check out:

Fine Motor Holiday gifts

gifts for children with special needs

As a mom of a special needs daughter I have been through many holiday and birthdays where friends and family ask, “What do we get Hadley?” It is a bit harder and takes some thought behind finding toys that are appropriate for special needs children since there is such a wide range of disabilities. However it is doable and I’ll be giving my recommendations as a mom of a child who has cerebral palsy with developmental disabilities.

For years Hadley has worked with Physical Therapists and Conductors on Gross Motor, Occupational Therapists on Fine Motor, Speech Therapists on speech and language, Special educators on cognitive growth and therapy. So I have seen a LOT of toys come in and out of our home as well as therapists offices. The one thing that I will tell you is don’t worry about what “age” the toy says it is appropriate for because all children develop at different rates. You should rather be wondering what play value will they be getting from the toy. We have toys in our home that Hadley loves that are for very young children but have such great music elements on them which she loves, we keep them!

1.    Vtech light up alphabet apple:

Learn everything from letters to telling time with the Alphabet Apple! This learning apple features a clock with movable arms to encourage basic time telling skills, fun, letter-specific animal graphics on each of the 26 letter buttons, and a Music Mode with 26 melodies to explore. The Alphabet Apple also includes an interactive learning board with easy carrying handle, as well as fun light-up buttons to provide helpful hints and unique reward sequences.

2.    Melissa & Doug Shape Sequence Board:

The shape sequence board will help your child recognize color, shape and size, and begin sorting objects into groups. These skills are the “building blocks” of beginning math skills. What better way to explore these important concepts than with boldly colored wooden blocks and frame!

3.    LeapPad Explorer:

With everyone around our home getting new iPhone Hadley has gotten numerous old phones which she loves to “play” with. I noticed that LeapFrog introduced its LeapPad Explorer, which is designed to look and work like an iPad or other tablet device and offers kids an age-appropriate and educational tablet experience.

The LeapPad Explorer features a built-in camera/video recorder, a built-in microphone, and a library of more than 100 learning game cartridges, books, apps, and videos. Just like our tablets, Hadley would be able to touch the LeapPad’s five-inch screen with her finger or tap it with the stylus.

I like this because games auto adjust so kids can learn at their pace. Each LeapPad book app is actually three books in one, offering each story at three different reading levels. LeapPad remembers a child’s progress from game to game and book to book to keep the content challenging and engaging. Content includes everything from phonics skills, mathematics, and spelling to geography, world languages, music, creativity, science, and life skills. Kids can also practice their writing skills with step-by-step guidance and a child-sized stylus.

With the reading apps, kids can touch the words to hear them sounded out and open a visual dictionary. With the microphone, kids can record their own narration. These apps feature animation and motion-based activities with popular characters, such as Lightning McQueen and Cinderella.

And to boot you can easily and instantly share your children’s masterpieces with family and friends via email or Facebook. I’m thinking how much Hadley would love this!

4.    Art-Time with Crayola:

Crayola has some great products that Hadley loves to create with! Crayola Twistables®  Crayons and Colored Pencils:

Twist-to-advance crayons and colored pencils are easy to grip and less likely to break, particularly if squeezed in immature, tight-fist grasps. No sharpening or label peeling is necessary. These unique crayons and pencils stay the same length as they are used, which gives physically challenged users more motor control and surface area to grasp. Vary the drawing pressure on a Twistables crayon or colored pencil by pressing firmly or lightly to create a deeper or lighter color. Or here is another idea, tape two or three Twistables crayons or colored pencils together to create a multiple-point drawing tool to make stripes, plaids, or multiple lines.

Another cool product to discover is Crayola’s Erasables. Now it’s easy to make changes and corrections when drawing and writing in color. Each Crayola crayon and colored pencil is tipped with its own eraser. With erasables, all ages of people with special needs can get the results they want and enjoy the control that erasing mistakes provides.

And last Hadley loves Anti-Roll® and triangular crayons. These products are designed to stay in place. Triangular crayons guide fingers toward a writing grip. Both types of crayons are perfect for assuring that drawing materials remain close at hand

5.    Play-doh:

Another fun craft idea that Hadley has spent many hours with is play-doh. We have made everything from balls to pies and I love that not only is it good for fine motor but also for the imagination.

 

4 Websites for Fashionista’s on a Budget

drawing of burberry jacketphoto credit: Noemi Manalang

Shhh I have a secret for all fashionista’s!

Being that I am a mom of a 23 year old daughter I have lived through many fashion phases as well as my own. And being the mom that I am,  always dressing my children and husband better then myself. *note to self this is going to change in 2012!

I have shopped with the ultra picky tween, teen, who developed a taste for the finer couture designers such as Marc Jacobs, Nicole Miller, and Milly to name a few…

If you are like me and have a daughter with a flair for fashion and don’t have the pocketbook for couture, don’t worry I have a secret…

I’ll bet you didn’t know there are websites where fashion designers offer their clothes nearly at wholesale prices.. .which sometimes are by invitation only… but… sometimes you can pop that and join in the “deep discounts.”

Interested? Oh, if you have a budding fashionista, or if you love style, take a few moments to check out these sites.

Badjoan.com: This site offers fashion from up and coming designers. And they have a $6.00 shipping flat fee. They have many designers to chose from but a family favorite (*check out the photo!) Hadley Pollet Of course you KNOW the name itself sold me, but… This collection features whimsical belts and bags that will make any outfit come to life! The designs are ultra feminine, flirty and fun. All belts are embroidered with scenes and nature and serenity, plus they are reversible so you are getting two belts for the price of one! Hadley’s belts are regularly between $115-160 and here can be found for between $18.00-40.00.

Billiondollarbabes.com: Check out this extensive list of fabulous designers who work with this site. You can also follow them on facebook and Twitter for all the latest.

Gilt.com: Instant access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Right now they are running a chance to win $3000 shopping spree from one of my favorite designers-Kate Spade, hurry it is over on December 13th! Do you know how many bags and shoes that would be and adorable coats?

Hautelook.com: This site has exclusive deals not only on clothing but also cosmetics too!

Ruelala.com: Ruelala is an invitation-only destination for a life of style. Where Members delight in discovering private sale Boutiques that open daily – and stay open only for a short time. A community where Members shape the experience – and enhance the excitement – by inviting their friends.

Now let’s go and sign up, we have shopping to do, don’t we?

2012 Is going to be an Organized Year!

shelley's organizer

I am jump-starting 2012 with a new on the go Home Management System for myself! Can I get a woot woot to kicking off 2012 in an organized way? I have always been pretty good about keeping things on the up and up as far as organization of our bills however with everything that has been going on with me personally and with building a new business I feel I need something to keep “everything” together and I am so excited to introduce you to my new best friend and day planner! I just love it!

I looked high and low and when I came across this I not only fell in love with it for myself I quickly bought one for my husband and daughter for the holidays, nothing like organization for the family right?

I just love this organizer so much I was even able to personalize the cover to bring a piece of my family with me everywhere I go, so you know I have to love that!

 

erin codren organizerphoto credit: erin condren

Inside you will find:

 

  • Special Dates: 6 Pages January –December
  • 2 Pages of small calendar July 2011- December 2012
  • Since I was getting my “jumpstart” on the New Year and purchased this in November my organizer started with a full page November 2011 calendar.
  • 2 Lined Pages for Notes
  • November 2011 Daily Calendar with spaces for Morning, Afternoon, Night Notes as well as Goals and To Do on the side bars.
  • Plan at a Glance then follows monthly through December 2012
  • Stick to It! Each planner comes with sheets of colorful stickers to help you highlight special occasions and upcoming events some are already labeled and some are blank for you to fill in.
  • A zip pouch includes “let’s get together” date cards and gift labels for giving on the go.
  • Keep It Together Wrangle all of your recipes, lists, prescriptions and other important paperwork together in a stylish two-sided folder.

 

If I haven’t “sold” you on it yet… This video sure will…


Also, for all of my “friends” I have a discount code from tinyprints for you to use, so if you haven’t gotten those holiday cards yet, or need some adorable gifts or want to make a planner I pass on the gift of organization to you! So what are you waiting for, come back and let me know what you got!!!